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If you loved The Princess Bride

""

Now, I must admit - Sebastien de Castell's debut novel Traitor's Blade is not my normal fare. But right up front, I want to say that I am so glad I picked it up! Why? Well....let's see....

A trio of swashbuckling Greatcoats, led by Falcio val Mond. Once revered throughout the land they are now reduced to working for hire, as their King is dead. The mighty Greatcoats are disbanded, but our three are staying true to their sworn oath to uphold and defend the law of the land - and fulfill the King's last command....

"Either the King's Charoites were out there somewhere and we would find them, or we would end our days at the end of a noose."

Through a series of machinations, they find themselves guarding a caravan headed straight to the stronghold of a dastardly Duke determined to thwart our heroes and put his own evil plan into play. Throw in some magic, a mysterious crone with unnamed powers, a few beautiful damsels, a war horse to rival no other, action packed fight scenes (very detailed as de Castell works as a fight choreographer)and wonderfully fun (and humourous) dialogue....

"When you're fighting a crowd, its good to shout potentially threatening things like 'Crossbows!' or Fire! or 'Giant Flying Cat!' every once in a while.".....

...and you've got one heck of a rollicking romp of a read! De Castell has created a fantastical world where one can imagine heroes on horseback (or foot as the case may be) ready to defend the poor and downtrodden, defeat the bad guys, save the girl (and the kingdom) and make you want to be there with them - sharing in the adventure.

We never question who is good and who is evil. But maybe we should have - the plotting keeps the reader guessing, with more than one twist thrown in along the way.

Traitor's Blade was a delightfully entertaining debut  - and it looks like there will be further adventures of the Greatcoats in the future. I'll be picking up the next in the series. If you loved The Princess Bride (My name is Falcio val Mond) and The Three Musketeers, this is a book for you!
"I loved the dedication: "To my mother, MJ. who once took me aside as a young boy and said, "Well, we need to make money and the easiest way to do that is to write novels." She never bothered to tell me that she'd never sold a book in her life." I think de Castell is going to sell a few.  ~~Luanne~~